Saitama Seibu Lions (埼玉西武ライオンズ)

[10/10/2018] Yusei Kikuchi tosses three shutout innings against Samsung

Yusei Kikuchi started a Phoenix League game against Samsung on October 9 and tossed three shutout innings. He faced nine batters, threw thirty-one pitches, struck out seven, and topped out at 155km/h. Kikuchi is expected to start the first game of the Final Stage of the Climax Series.

Source: Sponichi 10/10/2018, Sanspo 10/10/2018, Sports Hochi 10/10/2018, Sponichi 10/10/2018


[10/9/2018] Fabio Castillo heads to US for tests on elbow

The Seibu Lions announced on October 9 that Fabio Castillo left for the United States to get additional tests on his right elbow. There is currently no timetable for his return.

Castillo was taken off the active roster in July with tightness in his elbow.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/9/2018, Daily Sports 10/9/2018, Sanspo 10/9/2018


2018 Seibu Lions Staff Changes/Updates

Status Name JPN Name ENG Current Position Notes Official
松井稼頭央 Kazuo Matsui Retiring [10/07] Could take over as Ni-gun manager in 2019. Daily Sports 10/7/2018  
潮崎哲也 Tetsuya Shiozaki Ni-gun Manager [10/07] Will likely shift to a position in the front office. Daily Sports 10/7/2018  

2018 Seibu Lions Phoenix League Roster

Pos Name JPN Name ENG
P 大石 達也 Tatsuya Oishi
P 髙橋 光成 Kona Takahashi
P 齊藤大将 Hiromasa Saito
P 高木 勇人 Hayato Takagi
P 中塚 駿太 Shunta Nakatsuka
P 川越 誠司 Seiji Kawagoe
P 小石 博孝 Hirotaka Koishi
P 佐野 泰雄 Yasuo Sano
P 田村 伊知郎 Ichiro Tamura
P 相内 誠 Makoto Aiuchi
P 本田 圭佑 Keisuke Honda
P 國場 翼 Tsubasa Kokuba
P 南川 忠亮 Tadasuke Minamikawa
P 平良 海馬 Kaima Taira
P 松本 直晃 Naoaki Matsumoto
P 藤田 航生 Koki Fujita
P 郭 俊麟 Chun-Lin Kuo
C 駒月 仁人 Hitoto Komazuki
C 中田 祥多 Shota Nakata
C 藤澤 亨明 Komei Fujisawa
C 齊藤 誠人 Masato Saito
INF 水口 大地 Daichi Mizuguchi
INF 永江 恭平 Kyohei Nagae
INF 呉 念庭 Nien-Ting Wu
INF 西川 愛也 Manaya Nishikawa
INF 金子 一輝 Kazuki Kaneko
INF 綱島 龍生 Ryusei Tsunashima
OF 鈴木 将平 Shohei Suzuki
OF 愛斗 Aito Otaki
OF 戸川 大輔 Daisuke Togawa
OF 高木 渉 Wataru Takagi

Source: Seibu 10/5/2018


2018 Seibu Lions Player Movement

Status Name JPN Name ENG Notes
浅村栄斗 Hideto Asamura [10/06] A number of teams, including Softbank and Orix, are keeping an eye on what Asamura does with his free agent option. Nikkan Sports 10/6/2018, Sports Hochi 10/6/2018 … [10/01] The Rakuten Eagles are interested. Sports Hochi 10/1/2018, Sponichi 10/6/2018, Daily Sports 10/14/2018
炭谷銀仁朗 Ginjiro Sumitani [10/01] The Rakuten Eagles are interested. Sports Hochi 10/1/2018, Sponichi 10/6/2018, Daily Sports 10/14/2018

2018 Seibu Lions Senryokugai

Name JPN Name ENG Notes Official
藤原良平 Ryohei Fujiwara [10/04] Retiring. Nikkan Sports 10/4/2018 10/04
玉村祐典 Yusuke Tamamura [10/04] Wants to keep playing. Nikkan Sports 10/4/2018 10/04
豊田拓矢 Takuya Toyoda [10/04] Considering options. Nikkan Sports 10/4/2018 10/04
福倉健太郎 Kentaro Fukukura [10/04] Undecided. Nikkan Sports 10/4/2018 10/04
坂田遼 Ryo Sakata [10/15] The NPB changed Sakata’s status as retired. Nikkan Sports 10/15/2018 … [10/05] Planning to retire. Sports Hochi 10/5/2018 … [10/04] Undecided. Nikkan Sports 10/4/2018 10/04

[10/1/2018] Seibu Lions planning to post Yusei Kikuchi

The Seibu Lions are planning to post Yusei Kikuchi after the season. Sources close to the situation have indicated that the Lions have already agreed to allow Kikuchi to pursue his dreams of playing in the Majors. Kikuchi could formally select an agent after the regular season. Agent possibilities are said to include Scott Boras, Arn Tellem, and the Wasserman Media Group.

Scouts from teams that have appeared at Kikuchi’s games include the Phillies, Padres, Dodgers, Royals, Red Sox, Yankees, Diamondbacks, Giants, Brewers, Rangers, Rays, and Indians. Nikkan Gendai believes the Padres and Dodgers are the current front runners.

Incidentally, with regards to the media reports about Kikuchi and the Majors this season, Kikuchi told Daily Sports:

This season, I found it difficult when conversations were about the number of MLB scouts that came. I didn’t want any articles about me wanting to go to the MLB to come out. I didn’t want people to misunderstand and think that I was doing all this to appeal [to the scouts]. I just wanted to win a pennant. And when things don’t go well, people start thinking, “Yusei, are you focusing on the Majors?” It was difficult because I didn’t want my teammates to think that way.

I have wanted to go to the Majors for a long time. But it wasn’t a reality, it was just something to see on TV. After I won nine games in my sixth year, I went to Dodgers Stadium for the first time. I saw [Clayton] Kershaw pitch and at that moment I thought, I will regret it if I die without ever pitching [in the Majors]. This was the moment things changed from “I want to go” to “I will go.” I decided I had to tell the team, so I brought it up during contract negotiations that year.

Source: Sanspo 10/1/2018, Sports Hochi 10/1/2018, Sponichi 10/1/2018, Nikkan Gendai 10/1/2018, Daily Sports 10/1/2018


[9/30/2018] Seibu Lions take Pacific League pennant

The Seibu Lions took the Pacific League pennant while trailing the Nippon Ham Fighters at Sapporo Dome, 4-1 in the eighth inning. The Lions managed to clinch when the Chiba Lotte Marines beat the Softbank Hawks at YafuOku Dome 9-1.

The Lions recorded their twenty-second pennant, first since 2008. They became just the fourth fifth team from either league to win a pennant while in first place the entire season. They joined 1962 Toei as the only Pacific League teams to accomplish the feat.

Some notes:

Source: Daily Sports 9/30/2018, Daily Sports 9/30/2018, Sponichi 9/30/2018, Nikkan Sports 9/30/2018, Nikkan Sports 9/30/2018

[UPDATE 10/1 @ 11:56pm]

Additional notes:

Source: Tokyo Sports 10/1/2018, Tokyo Sports 10/1/2018, Sanspo 10/1/2018, Nikkan Sports 10/1/2018, Nikkan Sports 10/1/2018, Sponichi 10/1/2018


[9/28/2018] Seibu Lions place Neil Wagner on waivers

The Seibu Lions announced that they placed pitcher Neil Wagner on waivers. Wagner pitched in thirty-six games and went 2-1 with a 4.22 ERA. He also recorded one save and nine holds.

Source: Seibu 9/28/2018, Nikkan Sports 9/28/2018, Tokyo Sports 9/28/2018

[UPDATE 10/5 @ 4:03pm]

Wagner became a free agent. No teams tried to claim him.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/5/2018


[9/26/2018] Kazuo Matsui to retire at the end of the season

The media learned on September 25 that forty-two-year-old Kazuo Matsui is planning to retire at the end of the season. The Seibu Lions are expected to make some sort of an announcement soon.

Matsui has been limited to twenty-three games this year. He has been traveling with the team since he was taken off the active roster on September 15 to make room for a starting pitcher.

Source: Sanspo 9/26/2018, Nikkan Sports 9/26/2018, Daily Sports 9/26/2018, Sponichi 9/26/2018

[UPDATE @ 11:21am]

The Lions announced that Matsui is planning to retire at the end of the season. He is scheduled to hold a press conference at MetLife Dome on September 27.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/26/2018, Sponichi 9/26/2018, Sports Hochi 9/26/2018